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Kenya Moore Is More Than a ‘Shade Assassin’

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photo: Maarten de Boer

Kenya Moore has been a Real Housewives of Atlanta legend ever since she joined the franchise in 2012, but the star, beauty queen, and hair mogul wants you to know she’s more than just “a shade assassin.” That’s why she joined Fox’s Special Forces, a new reality show where celebs undergo a grueling military-forces selection process. “I wanted to face my fears,” she tells Cut editor-in-chief Lindsay Peoples on this week’s episode of the In Her Shoes podcast. “But it’s a little bit of vanity involved too, because I wanted my daughter to see that not only do I talk the talk but I walk the walk.” This series is a far cry from the glamorous reality programming we’re used to seeing Moore in — think extreme temperatures (they shot in the Jordanian desert), mountain climbing, and no plumbing. “We had to crap in a bucket shared by 14, 16 people,” says Moore. “People are gonna think it’s fake.”

Negotiating reality TV presentation and false perceptions is second nature to Moore, who, 11 seasons into Housewives, still discovers a new version of herself each time the cameras roll. Moore spoke to the Cut about Special Forces, Housewives, how motherhood has transformed her tolerance for bullshit, and why remaining genuine always makes for the best reality TV. “The new Housewives … They are performing. They are making up stories, they are doing things just to stay relevant. And to me, that is the demise of what could be truly an amazing love story. Because the fans love us. We are the premier Housewives.”

To hear more about Moore’s time in military training and her stance on the Atlanta dating pool, listen and subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen, below.

The Cut

A weekly audio magazine exploring culture, style, sex, politics, and more.

Kenya Moore Is More Than a ‘Shade Assassin’